The pear is one of the most widely eaten fruits, after apples. Most varieties eaten today are the results of crosses developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Europe and America as growers tried to develop a variety that was free of the tiny, hard grains within its cells that made pears gritty. Choose smooth, firm but not hard pears. Cut just before eating, or sprinkle with lemon juice to stop the flesh oxidising.
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